We Offer Social Anxiety Disorder Services in Cranberry Twp, Monroeville and Mt. Lebanon, PA

There’s a lot of us who don’t particularly enjoy public speaking or interacting with crowds of people. But what if that hesitation becomes excessive to the point of avoidance and extreme anxiety? Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), or social phobia, is a common anxiety disorder that is first and foremost defined as an intense and persistent fear of social or performance-type situations. This could mean a fear of speaking in front of a larger crowd of people or even simply interacting with others on your college campus. There must be an intense fear of being humiliated or becoming embarrassed while in said social or performance situation; being judged, laughed at, rejected, or ignored are all common fears experienced by people with social anxiety. This fear often is accompanied by physical symptoms of anxiety, such as blushing, sweating, shaking, or even panic attacks, or else an overwhelming sense of anxiety while out in social situations. Some people may avoid these triggers, and occupational, social, academic, and other kinds of functioning may become impaired.

SAD is one of the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders, with a prevalence of around 6.8% at any given time. This adds up to around 15 million Americans suffering from social anxiety each year. Unlike some other anxiety disorders, like GAD or Panic Disorder, SAD affects men and women equally, with the age of onset starting around 13 years old. And this is not necessarily a disorder that is easy to grow out of: the Anxiety and Depression Association of America conducted a study in 2007 that found 36% of people with SAD diagnoses reporting experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking treatment. That’s over a decade of panic, fear of scrutiny, and impaired functioning in daily routines!

The good news is that SAD responds incredibly well to certain forms of therapeutic interventions, most notably being cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. CBT has evidence-based results showing marked improvements and even complete cures from SAD with the hard work of both therapist and client. CBT works to alter negative thoughts you may have regarding yourself or social situations. It shows that anxiety can be controlled and you have the power to do so. With repetition in implementing CBT techniques learned in the therapy office, many people report success and improvement at completion of treatment and even months beyond. Group therapy is also incredibly effective, using solidarity in members with SAD diagnoses and CBT techniques that can be implemented with other group members. A supportive environment such as a social anxiety therapy group can do wonders in improving SAD.

Here at Cognitive Behavior Institute, we are proud to be the regional clinic for the National Social Anxiety Center (NSAC). We are located in Cranberry Township with additional satellite offices in Mt. Lebanon and Monroeville. Our clinicians are trained to use CBT and other evidence-based methods to specifically address social anxiety and any other mental health issues that may be going on in your life. To learn more about who we are and to meet our growing list of talented clinicians, you can visit our website at papsychotherapy.org. To schedule an appointment for you or a loved one’s social anxiety or for additional information, you can give us a call at 724-609-5002.

This article was originally posted on www.papsychotherapy.org February 2018